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Selections from The Punk Vault [Bonemen of Barumba]

Bonemen of Barumba – Driving the Bats Through Jerusalem 12″ EP (1982 Fever Records)

The Bonemen of Barumba were another great Chicago area band you probably never heard of. They originally were from the suburbs (Lisle or Lombard to be exact) but then relocated to Chicago proper later on. The band was founded by Tom Jonusaitis and Mark Panick, a couple of guys into super8 film, around 1980 or 1981. They put out a self-titled/self released 10″ that had four songs on it. Musically they were a gothic punk band. Back then, the umbrella of punk covered a lot more varieties of musical styles than it would later on.

The band even made a float and participated in some Villa Park, IL parade with it. How/why this came to be I have no idea. They also made a video which I never got to see but saw a few stills from it on the web. I’d love to see it if anyone has a copy. This record was their second release and also featured 4 songs. It was released on the Fever Records label who would also co-release a Big Black record as well as some other artist. I guess Fever had high hopes that this band would hit it big but it never happened for them.

Their third and final release was a full-length album titled Icons that was a joint release on Fever/Enigma. The album didn’t sell well despite it being a good and diverse record and the band called it quits. I have no idea what happened to the members after that. Years ago I had a friend who worked at a record store that said he would see one of the members around sometimes and that he’d get contact info for me but that never happened. I’d love to know more about them seeing as they are from my area and I seem to be one of their only longtime fans, let alone someone who actually has heard of them.

As always if you have any additional information or you were a member of Bonemen of Barumba, please get in touch.

Listen to “Pity it Ain’t” from the record






6 comments

  • On the Boneman, I used to hang out w/ these guys. I was actually in the video and toured w/ them through california. I ate a dead pigs head in the video. Wild times. I grew up in the punk scene in Chicago during the late 70’s and early 80’s. What is your name and how old are you. I used to work at the Exit. But then again who didn’t. Booked alot of bans at the Exit, Misfits, Effigies, those guys from milwauki, forget there name but the main guy went on to a solo career.
    I think i have the video at my sisters in Villa Park. I will have her look for it. Drop me an e-mail.

  • Craig, I used to hang at Exit. I was a big fan of the Bonemen. The Milwaukee band that you are talking about was Husker Du and Bob Mould went solo. I grew up in Villa Park. I think I’m in your sister’s video.

  • Hey Craig, Jaime here I think Mark is in Florida, I saw him couple years ago. But it’s good to see you are still around. Come see Hedspin sometime. And I thought Husker was from Minnesota. JL

  • Hey Craig
    Remembering an old friend? This is Scarecrow. Or Tom McNamara the drummer who was on the Icon album. Ha Ha remember me. My girlfriend showed me all the Bonemen sites on the internet, including one talking about the reunion. Was anyone invited besides Mark Panic? The site said that the rest of us must have been in rehab, jail or dead. By the way…I am none of the above. But I did hear that Marty did pass away. Is this true. Does anybody know? I’m still in Chicago on the northside. If you’d like to get together with one of the surviving members “give a shout and we’ll go out.”

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